Anatomy of a Perfect Press Release

press release success Press Releases, whether distributed online or in print, can help you reach a new audience. Here are the secrets to success!

Your company put the finishing touches on a fabulous new product.  Or, maybe you just signed the paperwork on an exciting  partnership.  Someone needs to write a press release.  “Someone” is you.  Don’t worry!  Even if you have no background in journalism, you can write a press release that gets picked up by news outlets everywhere.  Here’s how.

Sure – You Care Enough to Write a Press Release, but Do I Care Enough to Read It?

First, make sure your big news qualifies as actual news.  Do an honest assessment. Is it accurate, useful, and (very important) interesting to anyone outside your group or organization?  If you can apply a trending news topic to your release, so much the better.  For example, are you hearing lots of “green” talk? Highlight your new Eco-friendly items. Is there a big flu outbreak? Talk about your latest super supplement. Focus on what is important to the rest of the world, not on touting your company’s greatness.

Write for a Short Attention Span

Just because you have invested hundreds of hours in this project doesn’t mean your readers are committed to spending 15 minutes reading about it. Keep it Interesting.  Use active voice (“New app users are saving 30% on dining out”, not, “We released an app that can save you money when you eat out”) , keep it friendly and fun. Keep it short (under 500 words) and written in the third person (“they” and “their”, not “us” and “our”).

What to Include in a Press Release

Online press release distributors such as PRLog (Free and Up) and PRWeb ($89 and up), will guide you through the process of creating a press release, but if you have everything you need before you start, you will save time and spare yourself frustration. Download our press release checklist here.

  • Contact information including name, title and email address (phone optional) of someone in your organization assigned to handle inquiries.
  • Release Date
  • Suggested Headline (use keywords and keep it under 100 characters for easy ReTweeting). Create curiosity, offer advice, invite them to join you, or appeal to emotion.  Consider using tried and true introductions like,  “How-to”, or “Five Secrets to…”
  • Summary – Brief one or two sentence summary including what they’ll learn and why they should care.
  • For the body:
    • Who was involved?  Name people from your company and their positions.  If other companies are involved, name them as well.
    • What happened that is newsworthy?
    • When did it happen or when will it happen?
    • Where did it happen?  Where is the product or service available? Where can people go for more information?
    • Why do people need to know about this?
    • How did this come about? What lead to the idea or what research was done?
    • Is there introductory pricing or a special press release-only promo code?
    • What do you want readers to do? Visit your blog and sign up to receive your Emails? Visit and “like” your Facebook page?
  • Include an image either from the event, of the people or product involved, or of your company’s logo.
  • Include quotes from staff, customers or industry experts. Quotes give your article authority and human appeal.
  • Link the first instance of your company name to your website.

Review, Review, and Review Your Press Release Some More

Improper grammar and spelling errors will hurt your credibility in the business world, and never more so than with a press release.  In fact, many news outlets will not distribute a release that is poorly written (even if the story is interesting) because it reflects badly on them! Check and double-check your press release.  Then, have a co-worker review it again.

How to Distribute Your Press Release

  • Send printed copy by fax to local radio stations, newspapers and tv stations. See how to format a press release for print here.
  • Use a service such as PRLog or to distribute it.
  • Use the contents of the Press Release for a blog post.
  • Link to your blog post from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
  • Send a link directly to key Twitter followers
  • Send the contents to your Email subscribers

 Find What Works

Check your Analytics reports, looking at traffic sources and keywords searched.  This will give you some insight that will help you determine where to focus your efforts next time.

Beyond the Press Release

Many press releases announce events at a physical location (or even a Google Plus Hangout).  This makes them excellent material for Event marketing.  Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Yelp and many other social networks allow free event posting.  Take your press releases to the next level by utilizing these.

Clearly, there is more to marketing than any one channel, which is why many find that an integrated plan managed by professionals is the right choice for them.  Please call us at 800.305.9420 x1 for a free consultation today!

Current customers, do you need a press release now? Please request your press release here.

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.

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